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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe

The Best Family Days Out in East Tirol, Pillerseetal Valley, Kufstein Region, Alpbachtal Valley and Zillertal Valley

04.05.2023 in Family

Culinary bike ride by the Drau river, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer

Wondering how you’re going to keep the kids occupied in Tirol’s Unterland Region and East Tirol? Fear not, as we’ve put together some ideas to help you build your own itinerary to suit your family!

1 · Cycling, Climbing & Alpine Coaster Rides in East Tirol

Morning: Take the train from Lienz to Innichen: Grab a (rental) bike and explore the East Tirolean section of the Drau Cycle Path, which is the ideal option for leisure cyclists and families . For pure romance and scenic beauty, Wichtel Park (literally ‘Gnome Park’) in Sillian is hard to beat! The forest park offers a natural playground for family adventure under shady trees.

Lunchtime: Back on two wheels, an hour of effortless and scenic riding brings you to Galitzen Gorge. Take a walk like no other, along a well maintained wooden boardwalk at the very edge of the wild stretches of Galitzen River’s whitewater. Marvel at the relentless power and beauty of nature, and see how the deep and narrow Galitzen Gorge was created. Have lunch at the snack bar at the entrance to the gorge. There, you will find an adventure playground, a one of a kind play area that allows kids to create their own play adventure. The creative formula includes stone, wood and plenty of water.

Afternoon: A few more kilometers on the bicycle and you’ll eventually reach the lovely downtown center of East Tirol’s capital Lienz. From there, a gondola speeds you to your Alpine adventure: Hop on a sled and cruise down an exhilarating, twisting, turning track down to Lienz on the spectacular “Osttirodler” Alpine Coaster. Strongly recommended: Parents can relax and enjoy a coffee at Moosalm while the kids can mix and mingle with small animals in the petting zoo.

Evening: After a day bursting of fun and action, immerse yourself in a touch of Italy at Lienz and enjoy al fresco dining at Goldener Fisch Restaurant.

2 · Amusement Park, Adventure Park & Strolling Night in Pillerseetal Valley

Morning: If you’re looking for fun things to do in Pillersee Valley, make sure you visit the Pillersee Family Land in St. Jakob in Haus. This is where kids (and adults) of all ages will find something exhilarating to do. It’s fun for the whole family! Attractions include a roller coaster, the Wild Raft, the Pirate’s Cove and the Crocodile Merry-Go-Round.

Lunchtime: Only eight kilometers out of the amusement park you can bring out your inner foodie at Adolariwirt. Deeply rooted in tradition, you will be treated to some mouthwatering meals at this quaint inn. Their specialty is fresh trout straight from the lake. And while your amazing dish is being prepared, your little ones can romp about the inn’s safe outdoor playground. Right next to the inn you will find tiny St. Adolari Church, the second oldest Gothic-style church of Tirol.

Afternoon: Once replete and replenished, you’ll have no trouble finding an abundance of outdoor activities close to St. Adolari Inn. The captivating interpretive Apiary Trail invites people of all ages to learn what all the “buzz” is about and takes you right into Teufelsklamm: Translating to ‘Devil’s Gorge‘, this scenic canyon is a wonderful spot to cool off on a hot summer’s day—just as nearby Pillersee Lake. If you want to go vertical, gain thrilling perspectives at Adolari Climbing Terrain, where the climbing is diverse and plentiful.

Evening: On Tuesdays, the “Fieberbrunn Bummelnacht” Strolling Night presents fun opportunities for the entire family, including fire eaters, acrobats, kids games and Tatzi, the Lucky Dragon.

Good to Know: Pillersee Valley is served by several excellent public transit services, linking the five village resorts of the valley and Gasthof Großlehen. Bus transportation and Pillersee Family Land are free to PillerseetalCard holders.

Familienland Pillersee

3 · Mountain & Water Adventure Worlds at Wilder Kaiser Range

Morning: Scheffau Gondola whisks you up to the sunny SkiWorld Upland Plateau to Kaiserwelt: This amazing on-mountain recreation area for families is made up of activities that allow your child to engage in physical activity and feel a sense of accomplishment. Hidden trails and treehouses will keep kids entertained—there’s so much to do, and so much fun doing all of it! And everywhere you go, there are uninterrupted panoramic views of rugged and lofty Wilder Kaiser Range. Embark on a 45-minute walk along family-friendly Alpine Pasture Trail No. 99 to get to a lovely mountain inn on the shores of Jochstubensee Lake.

Lunchtime: “Kaiserschmarren” or Viennese Schnitzel? Pause for a rest and enjoy a delicious meal with local twist at Jochstub’n Restaurant’s sunlit outdoor patio that is sheltered from the wind.

Afternoon: During the school holidays, tiny tots can get aboard a tiny sailing boat and feel the wind on their face as they glide across the glistening waters of Jochstubensee Lake, daily from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Stroller accessible Alpine Pasture Trail No. 11 has many easy ups and downs and takes you back to KaiserWelt within a 45-minute walk. Ride the gondola back down to the valley and take the free Kaiserjet Hiker’s Shuttle Bus to get to refreshing Kaiserbad Water Park .

Evening: Kaiserbad Water Park delivers a variety of fun amenities along with its stunning setting, including a natural swimming pond, indoor and outdoor pools, waterslides and flumes. And it is the perfect spot to grab a bite, enveloped by the picture-postcard scenery of Wilder Kaiser.

Good to Know: Kaiserjet Hiker’s Shuttle Bus services are free to Guest Card and SkiWorld Adventure Hiker’s Pass Holders. Wilder Kaiser Region is readily accessible by public transit services.

4 · Visiting Rabbits, Monkeys & Haflinger Horses at Kufstein Region

Morning: Caressing rabbits and mingling with cheeky monkeys? This outstanding animal adventure tour in Erl and Ebbs allows one of a kind encounters! A one hour walk takes you from Erlberg Car Park to a tussock saddle below Kranzhorn Mountain.

Lunchtime: Kranzhornalm Inn is great for families. Little ones have lunch at the “kids table” right next to the rabbit pen, enjoying delicacies such as the famous, fluffy shredded pancake named “Kaiserschmarren”.

Afternoon: The ascent to the pinnacle of Kranzhorn is short, but tackling this steep trail means you will get quite the workout. Surefooted peak baggers who put this investment in will be rewarded with stunning views on a clear day, as well as the satisfaction of having made it up to a summit that crosses the border into Germany’s Bavaria. Thus, you will find two summit crosses at its top: A glistening metal artwork on the peak’s Bavarian side and a wooden cross on its Tirolean side. Back down in the valley head for the Endangered Species Zoo in Ebbs, less than nine kilometers from Erl. Stroll above the habitats filled with exotic and endangered species at this wild animal sanctuary that is home to more than 500 animals. Free roaming and cheeky Barbary apes are among the zoo’s top crowd pleasers—and love to make a grab for culinary delicacies!

Evening: Take a walk across fields and meadows to get to Piccolo Restaurant, where you’ll draw your perfect summer day out to a close over pizza specialties, al fresco while enjoying views of goats grazing on the adjacent meadow. On Friday evenings, Ebbs Stud Farm, the Leading Haflinger Stud Farm in Austria, hosts spectacular Haflinger horse shows.

Good to Know: Erl and Ebbs are served by several excellent public transit services; taking a taxi is recommended to get to Erlberg Car Park. Discounts and bus tickets at Euro 1.00 are available to Kufsteinerland Card holders.

5 · Mountain Adventure, Farmstead Museum & Swimming in a Mountain Lake in Alpbach Valley

Morning: From Alpbach, the gondola speeds you to your Alpine summer adventure atop Wiedersbergerhorn Mountain. The popular Lauser Land is an outstanding on-mountain play and adventure zone that is packed with fun for kids big and small. Kids can spend hours roaming about the playground with water wheels, aerial forest and ball track while parents can relax and take a break amid stunning mountain scenery. A wonderful 4-kilometer panoramic loop trail circles the peak of Wiedersbergerhorn and takes some two hours to complete.

Lunchtime: Next to the top terminal you will find Hornboden Inn, serving mouth-watering local delights, such as Alpbach Cheese Soup on its ample sunlit patio. Plus, there is a playground with petting zoo.

Afternoon: Once replete and replenished, ride the gondola back down to the valley and take the bus via Brixlegg to Kramsach. History comes alive at the unique Tirol Farmstead Museum: 14 relocated authentic farmhouses and 23 heritage buildings from all parts and valleys of Tirol have been meticulously preserved and restored for future generations to enjoy. They adorn the site, all filled with interesting artefacts recreating a bygone era. Step back in time into days gone by – a time of log homes, sawmills, gristmills, blacksmith shops, threshing floors, and chapels. Stroll through the historic one-room schoolhouse and experience life as it was “back then”. Special events, educational programs for little ones and guided tours that recreate and preserve the rural heritage of Tirol are held in the warm summer months.

Evening: Dip in for a unique dining experience right next to the Museum – Rohrerhof Inn is an authentic 16th century sun-bleached timbered farmhouse with balconies bedecked with flowers and cosy parlours, serving delectable farmer’s dishes. In immediate vicinity, beautiful Reintalersee Lake is a perfect spot to spend the evening—it is known as one of the warmest lakes in Tirol.

Good to Know: Alpbach Valley is served by several excellent public transit services. Regional buses, summer gondolas, Farmstead Museum and swimming are free to Alpbachtal-Seenland-Card holders (granted with one night spent here).

6 · Steam-Powered Train Ride, Alpine Slide & Water Park in Zell

Morning: Traveling by the historic steam-powered cars of Zillertal Train is an exceptional way to see the amazingly beautiful Zillertal Valley and to get to Zell. From the village center, a 1.5-kilometer long riverside trail takes you to the local heritage museum named Ental, a rustic farmhouse surrounded by lush green meadows. Having visited this worthwhile museum, the riverside trail brings you back to Zell where you take the hiker’s shuttle bus to get to the base of Zell Gondola.

Lunchtime: Come grab lunch and unwind with a refreshment in the restaurants at the base of the gondola.

Afternoon: Race down the mountain on the Arena Coaster, a state-of-the-art gravitational hybrid of an alpine slide and a roller coaster. Hop on a yellow sled and enjoy a thrilling journey around and through the forest, on a track built to take full advantage of every peak, dip, vertical drop, and turn the mountain has to offer. The screaming fast run is best rounded out with an exhilarating Bag Jump, a bag of air you can jump into with the safety of a soft cushioned landing. The adventure playground next to the base has plenty of activities available for children of all ages. The hiker’s shuttle bus brings you and your family back to Zell to the Freizeitpark Water Park, featuring family fun for all ages—there are amazing outdoor pools with waterslides, jets and flumes, balancing obstacles and climbing structures.

Evening: The historic coal-fired, narrow gauge steam train brings you back to Jenbach Railroad Station.

Good to Know: Zillertal Valley is served by excellent public transit services from Jenbach (Park & Ride)

Creative and dedicated, Silvia Pfeil is a recognized Tirol family travel expert, inspiring families to explore the Heart of the Alps together.

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